(227) Sir Richard Lyttelton, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, written from Rome on the 14th of April, says, " I cannot forbear congratulating you on the glorious conquest of Martinico, which, whatever effect it may have on England, astonishes all Europe, and fills every mouth with praise and commendation of the noble perseverance and superior ability of the planner of this great and decisive undertaking. His Holiness told Mr. Weld, that, were not the information such as left no possibility of its being doubted, the news of our success could not have been credited; and that so great was the national glory and reputation all over the world, that he esteemed it the highest honour to be born an Englishman. If this, sir, be the end of your administration, I shall only say finis coronet opus.” Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 173-E.
I am most absurdly glad to hear you are returned well and safe, of which I have at this moment received your account from Hankelow, where you talk of staying a week. However, not knowing the exact day of your departure, I direct this to Greatworth, that it may rather wait for you, than you for it, if it should go into Cheshire and not find you there. As I should ever be sorry to give you any pain, I hope I shall not be the first to tell you of the loss of poor Lady Charlotte Johnstone,(228) who, after a violent fever of less than a week, was brought to bed yesterday morning of a dead child, and died herself at four in the afternoon. I heartily condole with you, as I know your tenderness for all your family, and the regard you have for Colonel Johnstone. The time is wonderfully sickly; nothing but sore throats, colds, and fevers. I got rid of one of the worst of these disorders, attended with a violent cough, by only taking seven grains of James’s powder for six nights. It was the first cough I ever had, and when coughs meet with so spare a body as mine, they are not apt to be so easily conquered. Take great care of yourself, and bring the fruits of your expedition in perfection to Strawberry. I shall be happy to see you there whenever you please. I have no immediate purpose of settling there yet, as they are laying floors, which is very noisy, and as it is uncertain when the Parliament will rise, but I would go there at any time to meet you. The town will empty instantly after the King’s birthday; and consequently I shall then be less broken in upon, which I know you do not like. If, therefore, it suits you, any time you will name after the 5th of June will be equally agreeable; but sooner if you like it better.
We have little news at present, except a profusion of new peerages, but are likely I think to have much greater shortly. The ministers disagree, and quarrel with as much alacrity as ever; and the world expects a total rupture between Lord Bute and the late King’s servants. This comedy has been so often represented, it scarce interests one, especially one who takes no part, and who is determined to have nothing to do with the world, but hearing and seeing the scenes it furnishes.